Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences
On January 17, 2020, the OT-AAUP teams met for the second session of their fifth round of bargaining.
Matt Search, Associate Professor of Communications, joined the OT-AAUP bargaining team as an alternate and will be transitioning to a full time team member when Chelsea Gustafson, Assistant Professor of Natural Science, goes on maternity leave.
The teams began the session by discussing the 2% raised that the University had offered the faculty the previous day. The Oregon Tech team informed the OT-AAUP team that the administration was willing to give the Association one more day, till the end of business on Wednesday, January 22, to respond to the University’s offer. The OT-AAUP team once again expressed their concern that the Administration was attaching a condition to the 2% salary increase; namely, that by accepting the offer, the Association was agreeing NOT to bargain further over compensation for the 2020 calendar year. The OT-AAUP team argued that since a 2% COLA is part of the Faculty Compensation policy, and that the University must continue to follow current policy while in negotiations, it would seem that Oregon Tech MUST give a 2% salary increase. In response, the Oregon Tech team stated that all was required was them to offer the 2% increase, but because compensation is a mandatory subject of bargaining, they could essentially make the offer however they pleased, and that they were giving OT-AAUP the same offer that had been given to OSU, during their negotiations. The OT-AAUP team stated that they would need to confer with the OT-AAUP executive committee, and agreed that the chief negotiators would continue the discussion over email.
The OT-AAUP team presented four counter proposals, Distribution of Agreement, No Strike/No Lockout, Outside Activities, and Preamble, and one new proposal, Academic Freedom.
The Oregon Tech team presented three counter proposals, Non-Discrimination, Preamble, and Totality of Agreement.
The teams began by discussion OT-AAUP’s No Strike/No Lockout counter proposal, and the Oregon Tech team stated they agreed with most of it, but would have to look at it further and might propose a counter at a later time.
Discussion then turned to the Distribution of Agreement counter proposal. The Oregon Tech team agreed that it was much clearer than the first proposal, and agreed with the language in principle, but would need to go over it one more time with the entire team before begin ready to TA it.
The teams then moved on to discuss both Preamble counter proposals (linked separately above). Oregon Tech’s proposal did not include any language around purpose or motivation for the CBA, and the OT-AAUP team once again stated that they believed it was important to incorporate these statements, mainly as a tool to communicate with others reading the CBA. The Oregon Tech team said they would need to talk about the Preamble some more, amongst themselves.
OT-AAUP then presented their counter to Oregon Tech’s Outside Activities proposal. As mentioned in the previous bulletin, the OT-AAUP team explained their concerns with Oregon Tech’s language, and that the counter proposal was written to ensure that Oregon Tech is any bargaining unit member’s primary employer, but that the University had very little control over what a faculty member did outside their jobs, as long as it did not affect their performance at work. The Oregon Tech team did not have any questions about the counter proposal, but said they would discuss it.
The teams then discussed OT-AAUP’s Academic Freedom proposal. There were mainly clarifying questions from the OT-AAUP team, after which they said they would discuss it amongst themselves.
The teams then moved to discuss Oregon Tech’s proposals, starting with the Preamble counter. The Oregon Team felt that, since the OT-AAUP Preamble counter was more encompassing, they would discuss that as a team and work off of that proposal.
The teams then discussed Oregon Tech’s Non-Discrimination counter proposal. The Oregon Tech team explained that they were not comfortable including protection for classes that were not protected by law, and so they removed the inclusion of Political Affiliation as a protected class. Additionally, they had removed langauge around harrasment and retaliation, and only included discrimination. The OT-AAUP team felt that it was important to keep that language, and said they would discuss this article and likely present a counter proposal at a later time.
Both teams agreed in principle with Oregon Tech’s Totality of Agreement counter proposal, and suggested that this might be TA’ed at the next meeting.
Lastly, the teams discussed Oregon Tech’s Notices and Communications proposal from December 6. After some clarifying questions and discussion, it was agreed that encrypted email would be the primary means of communication between the Association and the University, with each party requesting a read receipt. The OT-AAUP team agreed to write up the counter proposal for the next meeting.
Before adjourning, the Oregon Tech team suggested each team look over articles they felt were getting close to being TA’ed and that the teams would start with those proposals next time, to which the OT-AAUP team agreed.